From March 29 when we left Friday Harbor until May 29 as we prepare to leave Desolation Sound, we’ve logged slightly over 1,000 cruising and racing miles under Yahtzee’s keel. Out and in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, down and back up the Washington Coast, up the Columbia River to Portland and down again, and north from Victoria to the Sunshine Coast and Desolation Sound, it’s been an incredible two months aboard Yahtzee — yes, even when we unexpectedly needed to haul the boat out of the water for two weeks.
In the grand scheme of things, 1,000 miles aboard a sailboat isn’t really that far and it isn’t cause for great fanfare. But San Francisco is less than 1,000-miles from the San Juan Islands and so is Alaska, so I guess it’s something. To us, though, the miles are just a byproduct of our overall sailing goals and lifestyle. We don’t purposefully try to achieve a certain amount of distance, but not having permanent moorage or a home harbor means we’re always on the move and when we have an idea to go somewhere or do something — i.e. the Columbia River and the Oregon Offshore Race — we make it happen.
Of course, a big part of what has allowed us to do all these miles over the past two months has been the amazing weather. April was drop dead gorgeous, and for the most part May has followed suit. Also, the longer days of spring have enabled us to put in more hours on the water per day if we needed or wanted to, which gives us time to go farther if we choose. Even though we cruise full-time in the winter, we typically don’t go as far because the days are shorter and the weather changes faster and is more unforgiving — although, we did log 500 miles from mid-December to mid-March racing and cruising Puget Sound, the San Juan and Gulf Islands. So I guess the winter weather doesn’t affect us all that much.
The Next 1,000 Miles
I’m typically not one to look back at our log book and reminisce, as my focus tends be on moving forward, but it was nostalgic to sit down with Jill and go through all the miles we’ve done, places we’ve been and people we’ve seen over the past two months.
Along the way we were able to see a lot of great friends and make some new ones. We had family and friends aboard as crew and we learned a lot about what we can do and want to do in the future. We both have previous ocean sailing experience, but being on the Pacific with the boys was a first and it went exceedingly well, which bodes well for us going farther in the future. When the time comes, we’re completely comfortable setting out on the ocean as a family or bringing on extra crew to help if need be.
The log book also told the tale of how we move. Though we did many miles in a relatively short period we were never rushing and never felt like we missed out on anything by going too fast — the miles merely unfolded as we went. For instance, having cruised and explored the San Juan and Gulf Islands for the past two winters, we were comfortable skipping through them to places we’d never been before like Princess Louisa Inlet and to a place that we love and wanted to spend more time exploring such as Desolation Sound.
So where are we going from here? Schedules aren’t our thing, so stay tuned.